Unexplained pupil exits from schools: How to give feedback

On 18th April 2019, EPI published new analysis of unexplained pupil exits from English schools.

We are seeking feedback on how we have analysed pupil mobility and how we have defined explained and unexplained school moves.

While we are keen to hear suggestions of other reasons why a pupil might move out of a school, please note that we are not seeking personal or professional opinions about whether school practices are right or wrong and neither are we seeking comments on the purpose of this research as a whole. Any comments that are not directly related to our questions as set out below will not be considered.

Responses will be considered for use in a further report on this subject looking at more detailed breakdowns of where the most unexplained moves have occurred. The acceptance and use of any suggestions received from you is at the sole discretion of the Education Policy Institute. You do not need to give us any personal details in order to send us feedback. Comments received will not be publicly attributed to you or your organisation without your prior consent. Any personal details you choose to supply will be managed according to our privacy policy: https://epi.org.uk/privacy-policy/

We have set up a dedicated e-mail address for feedback: feedback@epi.org.uk.

Consultation questions


  1. About you: Everyone is welcome to respond to this working paper. Please state your role / how you are interested in this working paper. You can choose not to answer this question but still answer other questions if you wish.
  • Parent, carer or young person
  • Teacher or school support staff in mainstream school
  • Head teacher or senior leader in mainstream school
  • Teacher, leader or support staff in alternative provision, PRU or special school
  • Multi Academy Trust representative
  • Local Authority representative
  • Other professional or volunteer working with children
  • Academic or researcher
  • Non-profit organisation working with or advocating for children
  • Other


  1. Your views: Do you wish to suggest any changes or additions to the analysis in the working paper? For example, are the groups of ‘explained’ moves defined appropriately? Are there any other ways that we could use the data to get a better insight into unexplained moves?

For each suggestion please state what it is and why you think this would be beneficial.


  1. Alternative explanations for school moves: Do you wish to propose any alternative reasons why some children move schools that we have not taken account of?
    For each suggestion please state what it is and whether you believe this is a reason that is within the control of schools, or not within the control of schools. Please give any supporting details for whether you believe this is within the control of schools or not.


  1. Are there any further questions about pupil mobility, inclusion or exclusion that you would suggest that we investigate?

For each suggestion please state what it is and give any details you can about how this could be done and/or why it is important.

We will consider feedback on the methodology, and comments on the test results that are relevant to the methodology. We are particularly interested in feedback on the following areas:

  • Our methodology for excluding transitions from moves
  • Categories of family-driven moves, and whether we have missed anything we are able to pick up in NPD data; also, whether there any problems with the categories we have included / how we have generated them based on the underlying data

We will not consider comments on the test results that have no relevance to the methods, views on whether the subject matter of the analysis should be investigated or reactions to government policy.


The closing date for emailing feedback is 18th May.